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Joe Biden speaks to leaders of Germany, France and Britain




The office of Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday said she had congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-designate Kamala Harris on their election victory in a phone call.


Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said the pair had spoken about the importance of the transatlantic partnership.


In the call, Seibert said, Merkel "voiced her wish for a close and trustworthy cooperation."


"The chancellor and the president-elect were in agreement that transatlantic cooperation is of great importance given the numerous global challenges," he said.


Merkel had already said she would cooperate closely with the president-elect in a congratulation message on Monday. The tone was markedly different from the chancellor's communication to President Donald Trump after his election win in 2016. In that, she appeared to deliver a lecture over the need to respect democratic values.


Many European leaders have voiced similar hopes that relations with the US can be repaired under a Biden administration, after four years of often testy ties with Europe and Germany under Trump.


Biden also spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday, doing the rounds with European leaders even as Donald Trump and his allies.


There had been speculation on both sides of the Atlantic about how smooth the relationship between Biden and Johnson would be, given the prime minister's affinity with Trump, the Irish-American Biden's thoughts on Brexit, and Johnson's troubled personal history with Barack Obama during the Brexit referendum campaign.


However, Johnson was among the first world leaders to congratulate Biden on his election victory. Downing Street said that during the wide-ranging call Johnson "warmly congratulated" Biden.


"I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and to working with him on our shared priorities — from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy and building back better from the pandemic,'' Johnson tweeted after the call.

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